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Norwich courthouse to reopen July 20 for priority matters

The state courthouse in Norwich, known as Geographical Area 21, will reopen on July 20 for matters considered priority business.

The courthouse at 1 Courthouse Square in Norwich has been closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with priority matters being heard at the New London Judicial District courthouse on Huntington Street in New London.

The Judicial Branch announced last week that it is resuming some court operations in Norwich and seven other locations throughout the state on July 20 to alleviate congestion in currently opened courthouses and to help facility compliance with social distancing requirements.  

This expansion of operations will bring the number of courthouses where operations are being conducted to 25. Also opening July 20 are Geographical Area 2 courthouse in Bridgeport; the Community Court and Housing Sessions courthouse in Hartford; Judicial District courthouse in Meriden; Judicial District courthouse in Waterbury; two Judicial District courthouses in Hartford; and Judicial District at Tolland courthouse in Rockville.

The Geographical Area 10 Courthouse at 112 Broad St. in New London and the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters at 978 Hartford Turnpike will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

All courthouses that are operating will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Priority business functions include arraignments of defendants held in lieu of bond and all arraignments involving domestic violence cases; juvenile detention hearings; family and civil orders of relief from abuse; and juvenile matters, including orders of temporary custody, orders to appear, juvenile detention hearings and hearings on termination of parental rights.

Pursuant to Gov. Ned Lamont's June 28 executive order extending the residential eviction moratorium to Aug. 25, eviction matters are not being processed by the courts.

Judicial Branch officials also are attempting to develop strategies to safely resume jury trials in courthouses.

"We continue to expand the ability of the Judicial Branch to resolve matters brought before it, both physically within our courthouses and by use of remote technology," Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll said in a written statement. "We are simultaneously doing all we are able to do to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the health and safety of the public, the bar, and our employees and judges."

Anyone entering a court facility must wear a face mask covering their mouth and nose. In addition, to allow for adequate social distancing, the number of people allowed into a courthouse, courtroom, office, lobby or corridor may be limited.

k.florin@theday.com

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